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“While You Were Dreaming” by Alisha Rai

--Staff Picks Teens

While You Were Dreaming

Alisha Rai
Published: 2023
Age Range: Teen

This YA novel, based loosely on the plot of the 1995 film “While You Were Sleeping,” follows 17-year-old Sonia Patil as she makes plans to finally get noticed by her crush.  Instead, he faints into a canal and Sonia jumps in to save him.  When a video of the rescue goes viral, she can only be grateful her face is hidden because Sonia is desperate to keep her anonymity so the authorities don’t learn about her undocumented older sister.  Sonia tries not to attract attention but can’t help making a connection with her crush’s family, all while trying to balance her changing relationships with her mom and sister with what she wants for her own life.  A touching a hopeful look at growing up in America.

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